Structural connectivity of the multiple demand network in humans and comparison to the macaque brain.


Fluid intelligence encompasses a wide range of abilities such as working memory, problem-solving, and relational reasoning. In the human brain, these abilities are associated with the Multiple Demand Network, traditionally thought to involve combined activity of specific regions predominantly in the prefrontal and parietal cortices. However, the structural basis of the interactions between areas in the Multiple Demand Network, as well as their evolutionary basis among primates, remains largely unexplored. Here, we exploit diffusion MRI to elucidate the major white matter pathways connecting areas of the human core and extended Multiple Demand Network. We then investigate whether similar pathways can be identified in the putative homologous areas of the Multiple Demand Network in the macaque monkey. Finally, we contrast human and monkey networks using a recently proposed approach to compare different species' brains within a common organizational space. Our results indicate that the core Multiple Demand Network relies mostly on dorsal longitudinal connections and, although present in the macaque, these connections are more pronounced in the human brain. The extended Multiple Demand Network relies on distinct pathways and communicates with the core Multiple Demand Network through connections that also appear enhanced in the human compared with the macaque.